A Guide to Common Products with Uncommon Properties By: Nick Dryden Part 2: It’s Just…Drano This is part 2 of our It’s Just… series on common products we see in industry. In this series we will be focusing on the chemicals found in these products, where you might find them in your facility, and […]
By Steve Jacobs, Environmental Division Manager Why Should I Properly Dispose of Smoke Detector? Customers frequently ask us about properly disposing of smoke detectors and why they are different from other electronic scrap wastes. With these life-saving devices in nearly every home, you would assume disposal would be fairly easy. So why can’t we just […]
PUBLISHED June 2019
WHAT ARE TARIFFS Tariffs are essentially taxes on imported and exported goods. Tariffs date back centuries, however the most pressing issues on tariffs in the US are primarily focused on the continuing trade war with China, and other nations. The cost of delaying a lighting project could grow exponentially as tariffs continue to rise. WHAT’S […]
Steve Jacobs, Environmental Services Director for The Retrofit Companies, Inc., shares tips on how to follow proper packaging guidelines for common battery types, including alkaline, lithium, lead acid and nickel cadmium.
A Guide to Common Products with Uncommon Properties By: Nick Dryden Part 1: It’s Just…Bondo This is part 1 of our It’s Just… series on common products we see in industry. In this series we will be focusing on the chemicals found in these products, where you might find them in your facility, and how […]
TRC has always focused on hiring great people to become part of the TRC family, and now it’s time for you to get to know our employees a little bit better. Beyond their expertise, our team brings a unique mix of backgrounds, hobbies and special skills to the table. Check us out! Introducing Jeff […]
TRC Aerosol Recycling Program Despite the changing regulations around Aerosol recycling, TRC is pleased to provide an easy program for businesses in Minnesota to comply. Since introducing the program in 2016, we have seen a growing number of customers utilizing this easy solution. 2016 – 7,598 lbs of aerosol waste shipped 2017 – 14,664 […]
The Interior Lighting Campaign (ILC) is a recognition and guidance program from the U.S. Department of Energy designed to help facility owners and managers take advantage of energy-saving opportunities from high-efficiency interior lighting solutions. TRC is a proud supporter of this campaign!
Customer Spotlight featuring TRC’s Carl Murray, discussing the recent lighting upgrades at Amesbury, Truth in Owatonna in both their office spaces and their production areas. PROJECT OVERVIEW Amesbury Truth, a leading provider of window and door components, has a rich history dating back to as early as 1914 where Truth Hardware began in a […]
Energy Efficiency Partner Award Once again, The Retrofit Companies, Inc. is proud to accept the Energy Efficiency Partner Award as a Business Lighting Efficiency Program Winner. It is always an honor to be recognized as a top-tier trade partner and to be considered one of the most effective lighting trade allies. Thank you Xcel […]
Want to know more about our TRC family? Check out our Employee Spotlight on Zane Kramer, one of our dedicated employees for many years, bringing a rich cultural background and expertise in the lighting rebate industry!
Peer Recognition The Employee of the Year award recognizes an individual that has been nominated by their TRC peers for their contributions throughout the year. This year our recipient was unable to attend our annual Employee Appreciation Party, so we decided to surprise him in the office. Congratulations to our 2018 Employee of the Year! […]
PUBLISHED March 2019
New Challenge in E-Waste As an environmental partner offering our customers responsible outlets for recycling their regulated waste, we run into many challenges as regulations and markets change. Over the last few years, we have seen challenges in the processing of leaded CRT glass from tube televisions and monitors. A new challenge in the E-waste […]
To help their Minnesota business customers save more energy and money, Xcel Energy is increasing their line of LED lighting rebates, for qualified projects invoiced after March 1st, 2019. The increased rebates available on qualified LED fixtures and lamps include: More LED high/low bay fixtures and retrofit kits New rebates for T5 linear tubes New […]
Introducing Joe Freed; Joe has been with TRC for approx. 3 years and has found his niche in the ever changing world of Environmental Services, really taking an interest in compliance and helping businesses and schools properly handle their various waste streams.
Digger Anderson, TRC’s Lighting Project Development Director, and Chris Wendling, TRC’s Project Developer, receive Lighting Certified (LC) Professionals certifications in January, 2019. Digger is one of approximately 62 individuals with this certification in the state of Minnesota, and Chris Wendling is one of 41 individuals in Iowa.
TRC is thrilled to grace the pages of the NALMCO LM&M Magazine as a featured Project Spotlight in the newly released December issue. NALMCO is an organization that has really set the standard for Lighting Quality Management and brings together business experts in the Lighting Industry.
PUBLISHED December 2018 AwardNALMCO
TRC is proud to see former President Steve Kath recognized for his many years of service to NALMCO. Steve was honored at the 65th Annual NALMCO Convention & Trade Show in Orlando, FL.
Introducing Adam Lundahl; Adam has been with TRC for approx. 11 years and has a background in land surveying and pre-demolition, recently finding his way into a successful role in Environmental Sales.
Adam has a passion for hockey, his kids and loves to be outdoors. Ask him where he would rather be and he will likely say on his boat in the sun, or in the Bahamas. He loves the water and the beach.
This year The Retrofit Companies Inc., held dozens of recycling events and partnered with cities and counties across Minnesota to provide residents with responsible recycling options for those unwanted household electronics, such as old TV’s or monitors.
LED TUNABLE LIGHT LED Lighting continues to offer consumers more than just energy efficiency, and with new types of tunable lighting technology becoming more readily available, there are a variety of additional benefits. LED Luminaires, with the ability to deliver varying light color, have been on the market since early days of LED lighting, but the […]
Tariffs are essentially taxes on imported and exported goods. Tariffs date back centuries, however the most pressing issues on tariffs in the US are primarily focused on the continuing trade war with China, and other nations. The cost of delaying a lighting project could grow exponentially as tariffs continue to rise.
On any given day you can find her interacting with customers, keeping spirits high around the office and making sure our Environmental Services are thriving.
If the batteries have a flaw, are damaged, overcharged, packed too closely together or are exposed to high temperatures they can overheat. This can be a very dangerous situation where uncontrolled positive feedback can cause other nearby batteries to overheat, triggering a domino effect of what is known as “thermal runaway.”
The EPA is in the final stages of developing their nationwide Electronic Tracking System, with a compliance target date of June 30th, 2018.
TRC has always focused on hiring great people to become part of the TRC family, and now it’s time for you to get to know our employees a little bit better. Beyond their expertise, our team brings a unique mix of backgrounds, hobbies and special skills to the table. Check us out!
Confused about different types of linear LED tubes? We break down the 3 most common types of T8 and T5 LED tubes used in LED lighting retrofit projects and their various pros and cons.
ISD #299 Caledonia Public Schools prides themselves on empowering learners for life and their strong ties to the community. In a school district serving Caledonia and the surrounding areas, it became abundantly clear to superintendent Craig Ihrke and his team that providing a welcoming environment was a necessity.
Radioactive materials have long been used in schools to demonstrate this fundamental concept. These materials may be dangerous if not properly handled and stored. We often find that these materials were purchased long ago, by staff who have since moved on. As regulations change and new staff arrive, it can be a challenge to keep training and licensing current.
Wendy’s success story is worth a read, not to mention the insights that she shares with readers regarding how to find success in any business. Take it from the woman that worked her way up through the ranks and finds herself at the helm of a decades-long successful business that is growing at a rapid pace in the Lighting and Environmental Services industries.
“We just took a look at our overall lighting, mainly from our production areas, and they were all either running T8 or T12 fixtures, some metal halide…and they were failing. I was done switching them over. I didn’t want to do it one by one…I knew there had to be a better solution out there,” -Matt Van Beusekom.
Clay joined TRC at the beginning of June as a Summer Intern working in the Sales and Marketing departments. Clay primarily works at TRC’s Owatonna location but you will also find him in the Little Canada office from time to time learning other aspects of the business.
Brett joined TRC in early 2018, and already he has become part of the family by connecting with both our employees and customers. You will find Brett bright and early in the office supporting both the Sales and Customer Service components of the business, not to mention his keen ability to make a fine cup of coffee.
“In the process we were able to reduce the amount of energy we use per fixture by 45-50%.” – Steve Grandgenett, Algona Municipal Utilities Located in the small town of Algona, Iowa, approximately 3 hours south of the Twin Cities, the Algona Municipal Utilities (AMU) recently renovated their office building. AMU supplies electric, water, cable, internet, and […]
The frustration of continuously changing and replacing burnt out light bulbs and ballasts is a maintenance nightmare for anyone, and Nate Cardin, the General Manager at Southern Hills Golf course, was experiencing this daily hassle before he decided to give TRC a call.
TRC is thrilled to grace the pages of the NALMCO LM&M Magazine as a featured Project Spotlight in the newly released May issue. NALMCO is an organization that has really set the standard for Lighting Quality Management and brings together business experts in the Lighting Industry.
Today we checked in with Bob at Amesbury Truth in Owatonna, MN to talk about their business and working with TRC. We have partnered on both Environmental Services projects and Lighting projects over the years, and today he told us about one of the very first projects that was a success and why he continues to work with TRC.
Chances are that your business has discussed ways to limit their carbon footprint, be more environmentally friendly and maybe even kick starting some green initiatives. Learn more about how easy it is have a positive impact on our planet with this 5 Easy Ways Lighting Can Save Our Planet infographic.
Lakeville Schools (MN) and The Retrofit Companies, Inc. (TRC) recently partnered to discuss the district’s 2 and 10 year plans at Eastview Elementary School. Both of the strategic plans included goals of implementing energy saving lighting solutions across the entire district.
You probably know that there are a lot of energy rebates out there that may save you money upfront or have a great payback in the end. But are you sure you are maximizing your savings through energy rebate programs? Do you hear about rebate programs in your area but are not sure what you quality for?
It is undisputed that LED lamps have become the leading lighting technology, offering the benefits of energy savings, longevity and quality of light. With the rise of their popularity, several of our customers have inquired as to the regulations regarding their proper disposal and recycling.
One of the most important concepts for generators of waste to understand is Cradle-to-Grave. In a nut shell, this means that the generator of waste is responsible to ultimate disposal. Nothing will relinquish a generator of this responsibility and there’s no expiration date or time limit. Hiring someone else to transport and dispose of your waste does NOT transfer responsibility.
Earlier this year, we completed his exterior lighting LED upgrade project, and Darin was nice enough to let us know how it went. “The outside of our building had traditional metal-halide bulbs on the building and on light posts. Very poor lighting and not cost effective at all…We were throwing money away!!”
Thank you to Xcel Energy, once again, for including The Retrofit Companies in this year’s Energy Efficiency Partner Award recipients! This is the 3rd year in a row that TRC has received this award.
To continue to provide the environmental services that our customers need from us. We have recently started promoting our tank cleaning and maintenance services. Tanks can be found in all kinds of buildings, including schools, manufacturing, and any building that, at one point, used a boiler. Some tanks will get used and maintenanced regularly, while […]
Central Regional Manager for Wausau Supply Darin at Wausau Supplies has five locations to watch over. He “really appreciates the value of TRC doing a complete job – something you’re going to stand behind, that you’re going to do it the way that we want it, and listen to us. We’ve found that to be true with The Retrofit Companies.”
This parking garage lighting project’s dramatic improvement in lighting came along with $23,634 in utility rebate incentives, plus a Green Business Cost Sharing program from the city of Minneapolis when this client upgraded the aging, inefficient high pressure sodium lighting.
Recently, we shared a new case study about an LED retrofit project recently completed at Allied Parking’s Gateway ramp located downtown Minneapolis. This facility is unique because the first floor is a layover terminal for MTC buses. Keep reading to find out why Trent felt that working with TRC was different than working with other contractors.
Xcel Energy recently shared the 2016/2017 Minnesota Business Rebate structure updates in their newsletter to TRC. Some previously unavailable utility rebate options are now available for LED down light retrofits and for LED screw-in as HID replacements. LED street lighting and area lighting are two Xcel Energy rebate options that are greatly improved for 2017. Keep reading […]
Sweet Harvest facility manager, Brian Pleschcourt talks about his experience with an aging and inefficient lighting system, and tells us how the Lighting Redesign Study process worked for his facility. Read the interview now. Why did Sweet Harvest decide to replace the lighting in your facility? What were the issues you faced and what were some […]
Over the span of just ten days, over the course of 5 years, in a town with less than 1,800 residents, one company was able to collect more than 115,000 pounds of waste electronics and appliances as a service to its employees. This waste was diverted from improper disposal or landfilling, and was responsibly recycled. The community collection model has been a staggering success for the worker community at Marvin Windows and Doors.
Primary issues with the old lighting, aside from being inefficient and expensive to operate, included cones of light and many shadows within the arena area. The customer began working with The Retrofit Companies to have a new lighting system designed and installed. Consultants from The Retrofit Companies designed a system where interior and exterior metal halide and incandescent fixtures were replaced with new LED fixtures.
There’s a giant world of information about LED linear tube options, energy efficient lighting, and how to get the most from your retrofit project, but do you really have the time to seek it all out? If you’re like most any professional we’ve met, the answer is no. We give you concise, accurate information in order to make informed business decisions.
Do you have a room, closet, or cabinet used for chemical storage? Maybe your business has a few old cans of paint, or an entire warehouse aisle of miscellaneous products that sit half-unused year after year, and you’re not really sure how to start getting it all cleaned up safely and responsibly?
This article discusses reliability of LED lighting, understanding lamp life with respect to useful lamp life, and how to understand variables in product quality across brands. It concludes with some overlooked maintenance factors for LED: cleaning, controls, and proactive troubleshooting.
Even when you have the correct combination of linear LED tubes and existing ballast or wiring configuration, simply grabbing an LED tube and installing it may change lighting levels drastically, undoing the original success of a well-designed lighting solution.
Are you considering a lighting upgrade and have you investigated replacing your T8 fluorescent lamps with T8 LED linear tubes for energy efficiency? This is a wonderful leap in the lighting world, affording lighting designers, facility managers, and other contractors the ability to essentially retrofit existing fluorescent fixtures with LED linear tube options.
Since the mid-1990’s TRC has gained expertise in the safe transportation of wastes ranging from toxic gases to Mercury containing lamps. Our recycling trucks have transported everything from old light bulbs to lead paint. This expertise and knowledge of waste handling and disposal regulations have helped our clients simplify the disposal and recycling process for all types of Universal and Hazardous waste.
This hotel had inefficient metal halide and incandescent lamps lighting the exterior of their building, with many burned out lamps. The result was a poor quality light that demanded a fair amount of attention and money to maintain. Business managers decided to take action and develop a plan for their exterior LED lighting upgrade with help from The Retrofit Companies.
In the electronics recycling industry, waste processing changes over time as methods improve or markets shift. CRT recycling used to be what is known as a ‘closed loop process’ where old leaded glass tubes were recycled into new ones; however, new technology does not use leaded glass tubes.
UPDATED MARCH 2017 We are often asked to properly dispose of hazardous wastes that have collected over many years, for schools and all types of businesses. These are chemicals and products that were used for maintenance, or in a lab or classroom at one time, that have outlived their usefulness. These products often spend many years in a back room, storage […]
Aerosol can disposal has recently undergone some changes in Minnesota and The Retrofit Companies has designed a program for Minnesota businesses to take advantage of these new regulations. Under this program TRC accepts waste aerosols for recycling or disposal on our Universal Waste Bill of Lading. Aerosols may be packaged into any of our UN-rated […]
The MPCA has officially adopted aerosols into the universal waste program. Aerosol cans may now be recycled on our standard Universal Waste Bill of Lading with TRC in the state of Minnesota. When you schedule a pick up for other recyclable waste like, fluorescent lamps, batteries, electronic waste (computers), or mercury, you can now […]
Radioactive waste disposal is somewhat uncommon, but responsible disposal is a necessity when the time comes. We recently discussed the disposal of Tritium Exit signs, but what are they and how can we identify them? WHAT IS TRITIUM? It’s a radioactive gas used in some self-luminous signage. Commonly found in exit signs. It was also […]
A couple weeks ago we shared a video showing how a T8 LED replacement bulb can catch fire if it is incorrectly installed. Because we have committed to being a vendor neutral company we thought a good approach to understanding this technology, and to help guide your decision making, would be to provide the perspective from many different angles, […]
TRC is stepping up our services with RecyclePak®, an easy, pre-paid recycling solution for small quantities of Universal Waste, such as fluorescent lamps, batteries, ballasts, batteries, and mercury waste. Simply select the container for your waste type, and it is delivered to you. With one payment you receive a shipping container, mailing label, on-site pickup, recycling […]
This church and school decided it was time to update the look of their facility and invest in energy-efficiency by implementing this full facility lighting upgrade and retrofit. The areas addressed in this project ranged from office and classrooms, to a gymnasium/auditorium, and a sanctuary space that required a dynamic lighting control system.
We believe that a lighting system should be functional and efficient. This is the obvious and most intended goal for retrofit projects we do, and we know many options are available. Knowing you have so many choices, we always share the future risks and maintenance scenarios to help our clients make informed decisions for the best long […]
Many lighting projects focus on the inside of a facility, but there are many businesses that require high-quality, energy-efficient lighting for their exteriors. Auto sales lots are a great example of a business that needs exceptional exterior lighting. Their “sales floor” is the entire parking lot.
This space was redesigned to include energy-efficient LED fixtures on a system of motion sensors that control the on/off of fixtures as people and equipment, like the forklift seen in the video, move through the spaces. Take a look to see the both the rapid movement and slow movement tests.
This recent lighting retrofit case study comes from a larger project completed by The Retrofit Companies. We thought this was not only a visually impactful set of before & after photos, but energy use was reduced over 400 watts for each fixture replaced!
For this exterior lighting project, the client is a company with facilities located nationwide. Their savings goals take into consideration the entire network of facilities, but we can see in this single project area how much of an impact that an HID to LED retrofit can make, visually and in energy savings.
Today we’re sharing a short interview with a small school district that came up against a confusing, and potentially dangerous set of chemicals in their science labs that needed to go. The chemicals had eclipsed their classroom usefulness, and while they had been sitting idly on a shelf for some time the threat of their presence was real.
A lot of the time, we judge lighting projects on the very dramatic before and after photos we see. That’s certainly a very interesting and immediate way to judge success of a project, does it look better afterward? Well, not all projects look dramatically different before and after, even in the case of this lighting redesign. However, the results for this project are dramatic and easily measured.
Well designed lighting will create inviting spaces around the exterior of your business, such as statues, monuments, green spaces, or other landscaping highlights that are lit during non-daylight hours. By completing these projects, you can address an area that is essentially running half of every day.
it’s important to do your homework for every project, to look at photometrics, understand the products that are being specified in your project, and know how they will perform in real life. This knowledge is paramount to project success.
The primary benefit of a vendor that is product or manufacturer neutral is that they are able to use the technology best suited to your needs at any time. They are not limited by a specific product provider or set brands in order to shoehorn a solution into your lighting retrofit project.
Steve Kath, TRC’s CEO and Founder, will be sharing his experiences in the lighting industry here in a series we’re calling The History of Retrofitting. Keep an eye out for Steve’s features. He’s starting off his series by recounting some of the energy-efficiency technologies that were popular almost 30 years ago, some that worked and some that did not. For more insight on lighting history, keep reading.
Energy-efficiency is a direct path to savings and makes a positive impact to the bottom line for many businesses, but you may be wondering “What’s the point in investing in a lighting study,” or investment grade audit?
Deciding to take control of their maintenance costs by upgrading their hallways was a pretty simple decision for this school. An area with aging fixtures and astronomical replacement costs was a great target to start saving. The major problem? Fixture lenses were brittle, easily broken, and no longer manufactured meaning they cost a ton to replace.
Deciding to invest in energy-efficiency is a decision that every company or business must come by on their own. Oftentimes, an investment in energy-efficiency will yield more than a return on investment. Let’s look at 9 signs that could be telling you it’s time to consider investing in LED Lighting
Due to the nature of their business, Northern Iron & Machine required a fixture that would handle a more than 100 degree Fahrenheit ambient temperature. They wanted to redesign their lighting system with a long-term solution for optimum efficiency and minimal maintenance.
Since 2005, starting with T12 magnetic ballasts, T12 lighting technologies have been slowly phased out. On July 14, 2012 the manufacturing of T12 lamps ceased for distribution. Along with the final phase out date came the end of some of the sweet-spot utility rebates that were being offered to utility customers who upgraded from inefficient T12 lighting to something better, like T8 or T5 lamps and ballasts.
Eligible “projects” can range from installing a high-efficiency water heater in your home to completely revamping the HVAC system in your factory. In this case, we’re going to discuss rebates for energy-efficient lighting upgrades because we think they are one of the most important efficiency measures you can take.
The search for a more efficient and economical bulb is a never ending task. If you have recently looked into a lighting upgrade there’s a good chance you have heard about LEDs. They are the latest and greatest in lighting technology and are a viable option for almost any application in any climate.
Are you positive you aren’t over-lighting, wasting energy and polluting the night sky with extra light? There is a fine line to stride when it comes to designing the best exterior lighting system for your building.
Disposing of Hazardous Waste is a time consuming, detail oriented process. Many of the chemicals listed above are not common recycling items. If you are unfamiliar with the chemicals you need recycled, it is likely that you are unfamiliar with the handling, packaging, and transportation regulations to dispose them.
Because of the dangers mercury waste poses to the environment and the health of others, the Department of Transportation has regulated how it must be transported. The main focus when transporting mercury is containment. There are some packaging and handling guidelines in effect to help prevent spills.
While we have found safer uses and have been able to reduce the amount of mercury required to create a viable product, as is the case with fluorescent lamps, that does not mean it is any less dangerous. The harmful effects of mercury are still present and it must be handled, stored, transported and recycled carefully.
When you are finished with a computer you should make sure your information is no longer accessible and that the hazardous materials in the equipment are properly handled. This is why it is especially important to responsibly recycle e-waste with a trusted, certified recycler.
We’ve compiled this helpful Hazardous Waste Recycling Resource Guide as a way to keep some important reference information at hand when you are looking to learn more about hazardous waste disposal in Minnesota.
Many states have required recycling of all fluorescent lamps. While it is not yet a nationwide law, the EPA recommends that all types of fluorescent lamps be disposed of as if they are a hazardous waste.
We talk a lot about how businesses can start saving energy and resources by retrofitting their lighting systems. This can seem like a humongous project if you aren’t a business owner, or if you aren’t the person at your company who is responsible for finding this type of savings opportunity.
There really should be a funnier punch line to the joke, “how many lighting contractors does it take to change a light bulb?” – But in all honesty, every single lighting contractor you talk to will likely have a different answer for how to save energy and reduce your overhead.
This client qualified for more than$23,000 in utility rebate incentive when they upgraded. They now have better light quality in their facility, increased safety for their patrons, and they are saving money and resources at the same time!
These five ways to control lighting for maximum energy savings are all relatively easy to implement alongside your lighting upgrade to increase savings, but most of them can also be installed or carried out after a lighting project is completed.
While the discontinued products may no longer be manufactured, they can still be sold until existing supplies are gone. In the meantime, consumers are likely to pay a premium for the lamps themselves, but also more in utility costs because these technologies use more energy. If you are using these lamps, it’s a great time to consider lighting efficiency projects.
In today’s business climate, consumers require their products and materials faster than ever. Factories and manufacturers must meet this demand in all industries while keeping employees safe and continuing to provide quality products. How then, can a factory or a manufacturer remain competitive, contain costs and retain productive employees, all while being lean and green?